So as I mentioned in an earlier post that I bought what is considered a “mom blog” which offers coupons, recipes, reviews and more for families. I wrote about why I invested in this blog, and in this post I want to follow up with the strategy I am implementing to make it better as well as the results I am seeing.
Upon buying the website I moved it to a new host and installed WP Rocket. I may move the site again at a later date, but needed to get it out from under her hosting quickly.
Update January 2020
So – I realized I was in over my head! Who knew a lifestyle blog could be so labor intensive? Due to the amount of work that 2 Dogs Design takes and the other projects I already have on the side I decided to let Plum Crazy go to a home that would give it the attention it needed. We used Empire Flippers to sell it – and it was one awesome experience. It sold in just a couple of days and I broke even on the sale, so all is good. Wishing the new owners the best of luck with it!
Official date of purchase was January 5, 2019
I moved the website to the new host (Veerotech) on January 8, 2019
Official date I started working on content audit was January 14, 2019
I moved the site to my Liquid Web server on February 27, 2019.
This post will be updated monthly as I continue to modify the website and improve it.
Why I Bought Plum Crazy About Coupons
Just in case you do not want to read the other post noting why I bought the website, here is a quick rundown why I made the investment.
- Good traffic (90% from Pinterest)
- Currently making income
- Poorly optimized for search
- Organic search is extremely low (about 13% of all traffic)
- Strong backlinks
- High authority website
- Review posts are not generating any income
So there is a lot of potential – the perfect investment opportunity in my opinion.
Statistical Overview Month 1
This section is to show where the site was as of January – some stats are from the day I took it over, others are at the end of the month. I have noted accordingly.
WordPress Details (as of date of purchase)
- Categories: 73
- Tags: 158
- Posts: 4,216
- Pages: 7
Analytics Details (as of date of content analysis start)
- Organic search was roughly 13% each month for January 14, 2018 – January 14, 2019
- Pinterest was roughly 96% of the total social traffic each month for January 14, 2018 – January 14, 2019
- Facebook was roughly 1.7% each month for January 14, 2018 – January 14, 2019
- Twitter was roughly .16% each month for January 14, 2018 – January 14, 2019
Ahrefs Details (as of end of first month of ownership)
- US Keywords ranking as per Ahref – 12,797 (as of January 31, 2o19)
- Top 3 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 80 (as of January 31, 2o19)
- Top 10 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 439 (as of January 31, 2o19)
- Top 20 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 1,377 (as of January 31, 2o19)
- Top 50 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 5,561 (as of January 31, 2o19)
- Referring domains as per Ahref – 1,008 (as of January 31, 2o19)
So as you can see Pinterest powers the traffic, which is not good. My goal is to have the organic search traffic be at least 70% of the traffic referrals.
Below is an Analytics screenshot for the year leading up to the purchase date of the website.
Step 1: Deleting Content
The very first thing I did was a full content audit. This was my exact process – which was a bit on the manual side because I wanted to be 100% sure that anything I deleted was in fact not valuable.
- I used ScreamingFrog to pull all the website content into a spreadsheet. I connected it with Ahrefs and my Google Analytics account to find what pages had no or little traffic in the last 12 months and which ones had no backlinks.
- I filtered all the pages that were getting less than 100 visits in the last 12 months.
- I reviewed those to see which ones had no backlinks.
- No backlinks + No Traffic = DELETE!
- I did not do any type of redirect for these posts (you can do a 410 to tell Google it is not a post anymore to have it drop off faster) – but I just let them drop off on their own.
Below you can see how awesome ScreamingFrog is for pulling in the data for Google Analytics and Ahrefs so you can easily analyze your content.
Google Analytics Sessions Overview
Ahrefs Backlinks Overview
Step 2: Deleting Categories & Tags
Once I reviewed and removed the posts, then I consolidated the categories and tags. My goal for the website is to bring it more into the “living your best midlife – travel, fashion and deals for women 40 and over” niche – it previously had no real niche going for it and the articles and categories were all over the place from car accessories to fashion, so it was critical for me to start sorting that part out.
I am currently down to the following after doing the content and category audits and cleaning.
- Categories: 35
- Tags: 23
- Posts: 1,054
- Pages: 7
So if you do the math that means I deleted:
- 38 categories
- 135 tags
- 3,162 posts
No, I Did Not Add Redirects
I did NO redirects at all for about 90% of these deletions. No 301, no 410 – nothing.
But in some cases you may want. The reason I did not is because 3,000 posts is an awful lot of work to be redirecting and because none of these posts had value, rank, backlinks or traffic it would just be a waste of time. Eventually Google will see these pages no longer exist and drop them on their own.
When to use a 301
If you have a page that has a little traffic but is no longer of value to your readers you will want to do a 301 redirect to a page that is RELEVANT to that page. This tells Google that – hey you can find my content over here now.
When to use a 410
If you delete a page and it is just gone for good and you do not have any content like it – then a 410 will tell Google – her this page is gone forever so remove it from the index please!
Step 3: Minor Logo & Web Redesign
I wanted to make sure the brand was inline with my target audience – 40 year olds and up who may have a bit of money but are frugal shoppers who love to travel and care about style.
This was the old logo – which clearly does not cut it for me.
This is the new logo – just super clean and simply. I also removed the word “coupons” – although daily deals and coupons will be featured, I do not want it to be the focus. This just better represents the brand I want to recreate it under. Live life well – but make sure you be a little crazy!
I also did a very minor update to the website to make it wider and give more content space. I modified the header to make is less high and to separate out the menus, made the homepage more engaging by adding more focal points and images and the inner pages have more room for posts since I made the whole website wider.
The below is how it looked before – and of course you can now see how it looks by clicking here.
STEP 4: Ad Modifications
The site was sold with the Mediavine ad network activated. I had to of course get my own account so I only have reports from the date I took it over. One of the cool things about Mediavine is they have what is called a “site health check” which tells you if you are well optimized for maximum earnings.
When I took over the site a few things were not teal – so I made some adjustments to make sure they were! I made these changes on 1/11/19 – it took a few days, but I quickly saw a jump in RPM.
- Made the website font 18px for content.
- Adjusted the sidebars to have less things in it so the ads can be more easily seen and were not pushed down so far.
Once I had the teal all locked in I noticed a great improvement in my RPM. You can see the screenshot below showing the RPM (blue) increase.
Although my traffic is dropping right now (because of Pinterest) – I am actually still up in earnings from what the previous owner was making because of the increase in RPM.
So in the effort of being totally transparent I am going to disclose the full Mediavine income the prior owner had along with the sessions (rounded). This will be useful as I begin to improve the site as my goal is to double the income she had. She added Mediavine to the website in February of 2018 so I am only showing March 2018 through December 2018. Lower down in this case study I will post all income going forward as well.
March 2018 – $451 (49K sessions)
April 2018 – $367 (37K sessions)
May 2018 – $353 (34K sessions)
June 2018 – $354 (29K sessions)
July 2018 – $363 (34K sessions)
August 2018 – $369 (35K sessions)
September 2018 – $417 (34K sessions)
October 2018 – $621 (56K sessions)
November 2018 – $802 (63K sessions)
December 2018 – $1,400 (96K sessions)
Focused mostly on content analysis, logo and web updates as well as started beginning the purge of content.
Mediavine: $894 (79K sessions)
Sponsored Post: $50
Total income: $944
As of today, I still am going through the website and estimate about 50 more posts will be deleted. February was all about cleaning. 1 new sponsored post was added but everything else was cleaning and a couple of post updates.
Here are my current stats with Ahrefs as Febraury 28, 2019 – keeping in mind I started purging content on 1/14 and am still doing so at this time.
As you can see in just a few weeks everything is up – so think about that.
- US Keywords ranking as per Ahref – 13,361 (was 12,797) (as of February 28, 2o19)
- Top 3 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 90 (was 80) (as of February 28, 2o19)
- Top 10 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 466 (was 439) (as of February 28 2o19)
- Top 20 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 1,461 (was 1,377) (as of February 28 2o19)
- Top 50 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 5,864(was 5,561) (as of February 28, 2o19)
- Referring domains as per Ahref – 1,035 (was 1,008) (as of February 28, 2o19)
Analytics Details – February 2019
- Organic search 15%
- Social 60% (Pinterest is 96% of our overall social traffic, Facebook is 4%)
- Referral 18%
- Direct 6%
Mediavine: $913 (57K sessions)
Sponsored Post: $200 + .05 per click through
Total income: $1,013
Income note: less sessions but more income than January!
Still deleted about 100 more posts or so this month. I only added 1 new post, but updated 5 which are showing new dates because I have the site set to show the updated post date.
- US Keywords ranking as per Ahref – 19,458 (was 12,797) (as of February 28, 2o19)
- Top 3 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 191 (was 80) (as of February 28, 2o19)
- Top 10 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 496 (was 439) (as of February 28 2o19)
- Top 20 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 2,161 (was 1,377) (as of February 28 2o19)
- Top 50 keyword ranking as per Ahref – 7,326(was 5,561) (as of February 28, 2o19)
- Referring domains as per Ahref – 1,098 (was 1,008) (as of February 28, 2o19)
Analytics Details – month end March 31, 2019
- Organic search 22%
- Social 49% (Pinterest is 98% of our overall social traffic, Facebook is 2%)
- Referral 20%
- Direct 7%
Mediavine: $873 (45K sessions)
Sponsored Post: $50 + 1.35 per click through
Total income: $924.35
If you have any questions or want more details about something – let me know! Have you purchased a website for the specific goal of flipping it? Bark at me about it! My goal is to make this a useful tool for you to possible do this on your own in the future!